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Driving me round the bend

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So Will doesn't like filesystems much. I can kind of see his point, though being a developer at heart I'm much more at home with a nice simple hierarchical structure than a magical metadata based ether that I can throw files into. It took me a long time to start using My Documents - I like to know exactly what's going on and where my stuff is kept. Of course, the whole world isn't a developer (woo), and I can definitely see the need for files to be organised in a more user-centric manor.

While it's hard for me to hate the humble filesystem, I have absolutely no hesitation in hating hard disk drives. Particularly laptop drives - they're slow, they're noisy, and they break. Computers have been getting exponentially faster in my lifetime, yet I still have a noticable wait every time I boot my computer, start my mail client, embark on another round of Quake III - it's just not fair. Of course it's hardly reasonable to compare software of today with software of yesteryear; Q3 is around ten thousand times the size of the games I was playing fifteen years ago. Still, it'd be nice if I wasn't drumming my fingers quite so often.

OS features like Vista's (didn't think I'd get through the whole thing without mentioning a product now did you?) External Memory Device should help mitigate the pain somewhat, where fast external flash RAM can be used as an additional cache level between main memory and disk. But what I'm really looking forward to seeing are more products like the Gigabyte i-RAM, which is basically a load of RAM chips connected to make a small disk drive. If you don't really see the point, just watch this video. Wow.
Comments
  • To me, "a nice simple hierarchical structure" IS user-centric. At least when I'm the user. :-)

  • what you are used to makes sense.  I, like you Steve, have everything nicely organised in folders etc - same with my email.  However, with advances in search and the meta data Will mentioned, we can do away with all that wasted time with filing and just search for what we need instead.  I'm going to make the big leap soon of just stuffing all my emails in my inbox and flattening my nice hierarchy of folders in Outlook. I'll let you know how it goes.  Oh yeah, can't wait for flash hard disks :-)

  • Well good luck with that, having just spent a good couple of hours sorting my mail into 70-odd folders it sounds like an appealing alternative. That said sometimes the only way to effectively file something is to read it; at least until our machines get smarter than us :-)

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